As I look back on the past couple months and ask myself how I got to this point, the only answer I can find is where do I even begin? It’s hard to pinpoint where things get off-track, where you took a wrong turn, which shitty decision led to which shitty result. So when trying to figure out what’s ahead by reflecting on what’s behind, it’s confusing, disheartening, and lonely. Three things I’ve constantly felt for months.
It’s been a relentless quarter at school, to say the least. Between classes I don’t have a particular interest in, to family problems, stress with work, and a deteriorating sense of self-motivation and confidence, it’s not surprising that I ended up in a place where I’m simply just lost.
When I decided to go to Chicago for college, I thought I was leaving Southern California and never looking back. I was excited to live in a place that had four seasons, to meet new people that didn’t know about what I did when I was twelve and who I dated when I was sixteen. I got to start a new life far away from my old one where I could leave my demons to rest. I was running. And I thought it was on the road to happiness, freedom, and a gleaming sense of pride. But running never works out, because everything always catches up, no matter how good I am at convincing myself otherwise.
Now I find myself in the midst of a crisis craving a sense of familiarity. I want home. I want sunshine and warmth and the smell of the ocean and a car and road trips and year-long summers. I want to be around people that know the dumb things I did when I was twelve and who I dated when I was sixteen and the way I acted all the years in between. I miss what I was running from. I want to confront them and stop pretending I don’t need to. I need to journey to an old new place and find myself again.
I feel defeated and weak all the time because of my decision to leave DePaul, and my life in Chicago, and move back home to San Diego. I spent so much of my time in high school talking about how I was leaving and never coming back, and that made me feel like I was better than the rest of the people around me, because I had courage they didn’t. I could not have been any more wrong or pretentious or naive. You never think it’s going to be you. In high school, as I watched the older familiar faces that left slowly start to come around again, I swore that was never going to be me. I wasn’t going to be the one that felt like I needed to come back home to figure my shit out. I would figure it out 1,000 miles away, thank you very much. But now, three years later, I’m here. I’m that person. I’m that face that needs to find my way home.
After two years of going to class non-stop four times a week, I’m no longer going to school. This feels weird, though not wrong. It feels like something I have to do if I do want to graduate from college in the near future, and be proud of what it took to get to there. I want to graduate with honors. I want to know that I studied things I’m passionate about and want to dedicate my life to, and right now, I’m so lost in that sense that I can’t tell right from left. I don’t know where my goals are, I don’t know where my future lies, and I think that’s where my motivation stopped showing up. So I need to take time to figure it out. And that’s OK.
I need to stop feeling defeated and weak over things I can’t control. I need to remind myself that it takes strength leaving a place I love and people I love to figure things out for myself. I am at my weakest and my strongest. And that duality is so very god damn human. I need to start letting myself admit that I’m human. That I don’t need to have it together all the fucking time. That when I feel like I’m crying over nothing, it’s my brain telling me there’s a reason and I need to let it out.
This writing feels all over the place, but I guess that’s how my life feels right now too. Big changes have happened the past few months, life-altering ones, that have shaken me. But they’ve made me see things I didn’t previously. I’ve had to confront myself. And though I feel like there’s a long road ahead to feeling comfortable and stable and confident in myself and my ambitions and my life, I know I’ll get there soon.